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    Hi all,

    I post here some Imperial Russian medals from my humble collection. I have done some write-ups each of them and I would be delighted if any expert here can check the facts what I have found (confirm are these correct especially because my Russian is not the best) and add something extra, if there is something. Also some study moment to beginners like me.


    Timo aka Noor

    Medal for Works on Excellent Performance of General Mobilization in 1914
    (Медаль «За труды по отличному выполнению всеобщей mобилизации 1914 г.»)

    It was only medal what was established during the Great War and the last one, what became in use from Romanov’s dynasty during their power in Imperial Russia.

    This medal was established on the 12th February 1915 and was awarded to the officials, who were involved in the preparation works or planning the 1914 mobilization. This includes as well militia officials, reserve military personnel, supply and transportation troops and institutions, who were directly worked for mobilization.

    During patriotic movements and the “call of the Emperor”, medal obverse was designed very simple: just left-facing portrait of Nicholas II, without any imperial attributes or text, etc. On the reverse there is text “For Commendable Efforts in Carrying out the General Mobilisation of 1914” (За труды по отличному выполнению всеобщей mобилизации 1914 гoдa).

    In the St.Petersburg Mint there was at least 50,000 medals made. Also there are other makers and because that some details can be vary on the medal. It was light bronze award with the diameter of 28 mm.

    It was worn on the chest and it was only medal in the Imperial Russia history what used Order of the White Eagle ribbon (dark blue).


    (1) Империя наград

    (2) Mедалей царствования императора Николая II

    (3) Order of the White Eagle – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_t … le_(Russia)


    Commemorative Medal of Reign of Emperor Alexander III
    (Медаль В память царствования императора Александра III)

    This Russian medal was one of the first awards, what the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II (Nikolai) established. The medal was instituted by Imperial decree on the 26th February 1896 for a memory of the reign of Alexander III in the 51st anniversary of his birth, who his son Nicholas really loved and honoured.

    Award was first granted to bishops, priests, general’s staff and senior officers and higher Table of Ranks (“Табель о рангах” ; this was formal list what moved all the Russian officials into three fundamental type of service: military, civil and court, dividing each into 14 ranks (grades). It determined position and status of everybody according to service. Everybody had to qualify for the corresponding grade to be promoted; however grades 1 through 5 required the personal approval of the Emperor) who served during the reign of Emperor Alexander III.

    Medals statute was reviewed by Emperor Nicholas II on the 31st May and 10th June, 1897 on the 8th November, 1898 on the 27th March and 16th December, 1899 on the 5th April, 1901 on the 21st February.
    On the 1905 decree was widened and women, who held appropriate positions in various departments, have been awarded with that medal as well.
    Lists of receivers were looked after by the Committee on Civil Service Ranks and Awards.

    On the obverse of medal there is portrait of Emperor Alexander III with the laurel branch. On the edge runs description “Emperor Alexander III (Иmп. Александрь III).
    On the reverse, there is a Russian Imperial Crown and Emperor Alexander III reign period “1881 – 1894” and in the bottom as a religious country – Crucifix.

    Medal was worn on the chest on the Order of St.Alexander Nevsky ribbon (red).

    299,765 medals was ordered and coined by St.Petersburg Mint. There is a cyrillic maker mark "AG" to the undercut of the shoulder. Medal weight is 12,2 gr., diameter 27,93 mm.


    (1) Ордена и медали России (Orders and Medals from Russia)

    (2) Российские императоры (Russian Emperors)

    (3) Table of Ranks – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Commemorative medal of Russian-Japanese War 1904-1905
    (Медаль «В память русско-японской войны»)

    This medal was established by Russian War Ministry “Imperial degree” on the 21st January 1906, after Russia has been defeated by Japanese troops in the East Asia.
    The war was lost miserably, partially because logistical problems (supplies came from St.Petersburg, but combat took place in East Asia – around 9,700 km railway track between), also Japanese modern naval attacks destroyed almost all Russian ships and the Baltic fleet, what traveled all around the world, was almost annihilated by the Japanese in the Battle of the Tsushima Strait.
    Also their main stronghold Port Arthur surrender to Japanese forces on the 2nd January 1905. Commander of the port Major General Anatoly Stessel was convicted by a court-martial in 1908 and sentenced to death for that. This sentence was later commuted to ten years imprisonment.

    However, it pleased the Emperor Nicholas II (Николай II), to establish "a special medal to commemorate the monarch’s gratitude to the troops who participated in the war against Japan”. Meantime many people didn’t share this opinion and before the medal was instituted, small disputes took place. Also some anecdotes connected to this award, were around during the establishment.

    As many Imperial awards from this period, they used simple design and the inscription on the reverse.
    On the obverse there is the Eye of Providence surrounded by rays of light (or glory) and dates at the bottom “1904-1905”.
    Eye of Providence (or the “all-seeing eye of God), enclosed by a triangle, and on this medal interpreted as representing the eye of God watching over humankind.
    However, there were strong Masonic movements in the Imperial Russia, because that, this can be as well one reason why this symbol found on his way to this medal. As an example, also in the Winter Palace Square in St.Petersburg is possible to see the same God’s eye.

    On the reverse there is very interesting text, what has been raised questions and disputes.
    Inscription says “May God blesses you when the time comes” (Да вознесет вась Господь вь свое время). There are rumours around that the mistake was made during early war, when they introduced a medal sketch to the Emperor, he wrote on the paper lines “approved, should be produced when the time comes”. Although Nicholas II wrote the last line close to the medal reverse inscription “May God Blesses you”.
    When finally all the issues with the medal’s establishment were decided at the highest level in early 1906 and project was ready to go ahead, they took accidently a line from Emperor remark as well and added it to the final version.
    Other legend says that the line has been taken from “New testament”.

    Medal was made from three different types of metal;

    ● Silver; for military and naval troops, medical personnel and priests who took part of the Siege of Port Arthur permanently or temporarily during period of 12th May 1904 to 20th December 1904 or troops who fought on the Kwantung Peninsula. As well local residents from Port Arthur, who carried out defence duties or looked after sick and wounded soldiers.

    ● Light Bronze; for all the officers and lower ranks of military and naval units, as well state militia, border guards and volunteers, who fought at least one or more battles against Japanese forces in the Manchuria territory. Also to the medical institutions, priests and persons who not belonged to the military Table of Ranks (“Табель о рангах”), but presented any type of combat duties in the area.

    ● Dark Bronze (Copper); for all who did not participate in combat, but served in the army or was assigned to the war involved institutions as Border Guards, Red Cross Society, medical facilities who supported wounded soldiers, civilians and government officials, who carried out their duties for war effort in the Far East and Siberia along the Samara- Zlatoust railway, in the areas under martial law during the period of 26th January 1904 to 1st October 1905. Also all persons of all classes that have had during the war with Japan any war related act of merit.

    Medal was worn on the chest. Ribbon was combined with the traditional St.George and St.Alexander Nevsky ribbons (half of the ribbon three black stripes and two brown stripes, second half of the ribbon all red).

    On the 1st March 1906 ribbon bow to the medal was authorised as addition for all officers and soldiers, who got wounded during the battles in the war.

    In total around 800,000 medals were produced.
    Many bronze examples were made privately and because that there was various different types available, where some details differ from official State made awards.
    It is possible to see different size of triangles, altered position from the centre, size of the rays or even changed number of rays. Also there can be slight difference of the shift what was used on the reverse.

    Almost same time, on the 19th January 1906, Emperor Nicholas II also instituted a Red Cross medal for Red Cross nurses, medics or even to people, who hosted soldiers or donated for war effort.


    (1) Ордена и медали России (Orders and Medals from Russia)

    (2) Империя наград

    (3) Nicholas II of Russia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (4) Anatoly Stessel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (5) Russo-Japanese War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (Russian Military Honours of the War 1904-1905)
    By Valeri Ivanov

    (7) Table of Ranks – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Crimean War Commemorative Medal (1853-1856)
    (Медаль «В память войны 1853–1856 гг.»)

    The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. Most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula, but there were smaller campaigns in western Anatolia, Caucasus, the Baltic Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the White Sea.
    The war has gone by different names. In Russia it is also known as the "Eastern War" (“Восточная война”), and in Britain at the time it was sometimes known as the "Russian War".
    The Crimean War is sometimes considered to be one of the first "modern" wars as it "introduced technical changes which affected the future course of warfare," including the first tactical use of railways and the telegraph.
    It is also famous for the work of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, who pioneered modern nursing practices while caring for wounded British soldiers.
    Most famous event during this war was surely Siege of Sevastopol, port who two commanders Admiral Vladimir Kornilov and later replaced Admiral Pavel Nakhimov both fell during defence.

    War ended as a victory for Allies and piece was through the Congress of Paris (Treaty of Paris).

    To commemorate Crimean war, five months after signing the Treaty of Paris, medal was instituted on the 26th August 1856 by Emperor Alexander II (Александр II Николаевич). He became coronated during the war on the 2nd March 1855 and he was well known about his liberal reforms during his reign. Because that, he was known as well as “Alexander the Liberator” (“Александр Освободитель”).
    On the 26th August 1856 manifesto was released, what granted people more rights. Addition to this was also order to establish medal “in memory of the Eastern War of 1853-1856”.

    Medal was struck in two types – light and dark bronze. Diameter of the medal was 28mm.
    On the obverse there is Nicholas I and Alexander II monograms, crowned with the imperial crowns and with the Eye of Providence surrounded by rays of light (or glory) and dates at the bottom “1853-1854-1855-1856”.

    On the reverse there is a text “We have set our hopes in Thee O Lord, Let us never be ashamed” (“На Тя, Господи, уповахом, да не
    постыдимся во веки”).

    Depend of type of involvement during the war; medals were awarded with four different ribbons as follows:

    ● Light Bronze medal

    Order of St.George ribbon – awarded to the military personnel who served in Caucasus, Danube area, sailors who participated in the naval battle of Sinop (took place on 30th November 1853 and was led by Russian hero Admiral Pavel Nakhimov) and defenders of Petropavlosk on the Kamchatky Peninsula, what was put under siege by the Anglo-French forces but under the command of Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky city never fell.

    Order of St.Andrew ribbon – combatants (Army and Navy), who didn’t received medal with the St.George ribbon but took part any engagement against enemy.

    Order of St.Vladimir ribbon –Militia units, Cossack’s and nurses, who performed their duties in the battle positions.

    ● Dark Bronze medal

    Order of St.Vladimir ribbon – To all military and table of Ranks (“Табель о рангах”) and noble families, who didn’t took part of the conflict.

    Order of St.Anne ribbon – Merchants and Russian citizens who distinguished themselves, offering money for war effort, helped injured and families of those who had been killed in action.

    There was around 1,7 million medals made in light and dark bronze (including Ekaterinburg Mint made 430,000 pieces).


    (1) Sobiratel – Commemorative Medal of war 1853-1856
    http://www.sobiratel.net/zasluga/Russia … 3/1853.htm

    (2) Медаль «В память войны 1853-1856 гг.» — Википедия

    (3) Ордена и медали России (Orders and Medals from Russia)

    (4) Alexander II of Russia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (5) Crimean War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (6) Table of Ranks – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Medal for Zeal, silver, 1894 to 1917 (медаль «За усердие»)

    Medal for Zeal was established already December 1801 by Emperor Alexander I (Александр I Павлович) who was Emperor of Russia from 23rd March 1801 to 1st December 1825.

    It was awarded for meritorious service to the Russian government, military and civilians in times of war and piece. Also it was very common award to the foreign soldiers and civilians.
    During 19th Century, many medals went to members of merchants guilds due diligence in supplying troops in a different conflicts where Russian Empire engaged.

    During Nicholas II (Николай II, Николай Александрович Романов) reign from 1st November 1894 to 15th March 1917 there was four different types of medals:

    ● Small Silver (28mm)
    ● Large Silver (50mm)
    ● Small Gold (28mm)
    ● Large Gold (50mm)

    Large medal was for a wear around the neck and the small model on the chest.

    But because this medal was common and many manufactures produced these, the size and the metal quality can be vary. Especially examples, what was minted during the Great War.

    Medals were worn on the different ribbons:

    ● Order of St.Stanislaus ribbon
    ● Order of St.Anne ribbon
    ● Order of Alexander Nevski ribbon
    ● Order of St. Vladimir ribbon
    ● Order of St.Andrew the first called ribbon

    On the obverse there is portrait of Emperor Nicholas II with the text “By the kindness of God Nicholas II Emperor and despot of all the Russia” (Б. М. Николаи II имрераторъ и самодежецъ всеросс).
    On the reverse there is palm and oak leave half wreath next to it text “For Zeal” (За Усердіе).


    (1) Medals of Imperial Russia

    (2) Награды Императорской России 1702 – 1917 гг..

    (3) Sobiratel
    http://www.sobiratel.net/zasluga/Russia … l/Zeal.htm

    (4) Ордена и медали России (Orders and Medals from Russia)

    (5) Nicholas II of Russia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (6) Российские императоры (Russian Emperors)

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